Istanbul Attacks

On Sunday January 1, 2017 at 1:15 a.m., there was an attack on the Reina Nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey.  Out of the nearly 600 people in the nightclub, the attack killed 39 people and injured over 70 others.  The killed and wounded were from 22 different countries.

The security around the city had been stepped up for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, yet this attacked still happened.  The owner of the nightclub Mehmet Kocarslan said, “Despite those high security measures this heinous incident happened. We don’t know what to say. We are speechless.”  according to CNN.

36  people were arrested in connection to this attack, 20 of these people are said to be part of ISIS, and the others lived near the suspect in the city of Konya and may have known about the attack in advanced,but the suspect has not been found. Investigators have found fingerprints of the gunman, and they know exactly what he looks like from a video that was posted on a pro-ISIS telegram account before the attacks.  Surveillance videos from outside of the nightclub show the gunman shooting a security guard and a police officer before entering the club.  The club’s DJ said that the attacker stood near the booth while firing the shots.  After all the shots were fired, the shooter went into the kitchen of the club, changed clothes, and escaped by blending in with the crowd.  He took a taxi to a neighborhood about four minutes away.  According to the taxi driver, once at the destination, he told the driver that he had no money, then used the driver’s phone to make a call.  Those details are not released yet.  He used an AK-47 to fire more than 180 rounds in the seven minutes the attack took place.  During this, he said an arabic phrase which translates to “God is [the] greatest.”  ISIS has claimed responsibility of this attack and the investigation for the suspect is still underway.